MINDFULNESS MONDAY – WHAT TO FOCUS ON TO HELP ALLEVIATE YOUR PAIN…

We are all starting to get a bit excited about the let up on our lockdown but it can also cause a lot of anxiety and then more pain.

Happiful Magazine has written a great article on Mindfulness.

Many of us know by now that mindfulness is a pretty wonderful thing. It can reduce stress and anxiety, and generally help us to maintain our mental wellness.

Mindfulness meditation is often hailed as the ultimate mindfulness practice. But the brilliant thing about mindfulness is that it can be tapped into in so many ways. One creative idea is to take regular crafting activities and give them a mindfulness spin by slowing down, and letting the activity absorb your attention.

Counsellor Bethyn Casey incorporates creative therapy into her work, and believes crafting can be ideal for those looking for a different approach to mindfulness.

Research from the British Journal of Occupational Therapy suggests doing crafting activities on a regular basis can improve mood and increase feelings of relaxation. And Bethyn notes that being creative in this way can ultimately help us access difficult emotions, too.

By crafting, we’re just letting images, shapes, colours, and our intuition, lead us in different directions. Somehow the fun of the objects themselves can mean we drift out of boxed thinking and discover that something within us can quietly rearrange things in the background.

Suddenly we’ve put our tools away, and whatever it was that was stuck and knotted and inaccessible inside has somehow formed itself into something tangible that can be touched and explored.”

This article and many others in Happiful have inspired me to get a bit more creative at this difficult time. I focused too hard on just doing one project ( my shed) when in actual fact I had written a list of a number of things I wanted to do during lockdown. Because I just focused on one thing this created me more pain. Had I done it in stages and changed to another project I am sure I would not have suffered as much. I am a big believer in mindfulness and I have a few books on the subject.

A good one to try is Mindfulness for Beginners is an ebook by Beatrice Annhata…

Do you feel like you are…

Losing control of your emotions?
Experiencing anxious thoughts?
Feeling unusually irritable?
Unable to concentrate?
Stressed out more than usual?

You are about to discover an easy, straightforward plan to help you ease stress and anxiety, helping you reclaim the joy in your life YOU deserve! In this powerful new e-book, you’ll discover –

32 simple mindfulness exercises that you can practice virtually anywhere at any time! Its effective strategies help to minimize stress and bring you to a state of instant relaxation. It has proven techniques to eliminate anxiety and quickly regain rational thinking. There are powerful quotes to keep you inspired and motivated!

Mindfulness is simply being fully present in the moment…And it’s one of the most powerful techniques available to decrease stress and anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 40 million adults in the US are affected by anxiety, and millions more are afflicted with depression-related disorders. Overall, they estimate 18% of all adults have some form of mental illness.

Make no mistake about it – stress is no longer just an epidemic, it’s a PANDEMIC within a PANDEMIC.

And it can adversely impact not only your mental and physical health, but your professional and personal relationships as well.

But here’s the good news…

Mindfulness for Beginners gives you all the necessary tools and techniques you need to decrease anxiety and experience renewed peace of mind.

Mindfulness can also…

* Increase brain functioning
* Lower blood pressure
* Enhance immune function
* Decrease heart rate
* Heighten awareness

The benefits of Mindfulness are far-reaching and can significantly increase your quality of life!

This ebook is loaded with 32 proven mindfulness exercises to select from, Mindfulness for Beginners provides a bounty of fun and fresh exercises for you to enjoy practically anywhere at any time!

ITS SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION…

According to Wikipedia Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function.

According to an article on WEB MD Charles Bea, MD says that ‘there is a link between pain and sleep problems, exactly how the two conditions are connected varies from person to person. “You have to determine what is the chicken and what is the egg,” he says. “Is pain a manifestation of, or made worse by, a sleep disorder or is pain causing the poor quality of sleep?

Charles Bae, MD, a neurologist in the Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, puts it this way: “Pain can be the main reason that someone wakes up multiple times a night, and this results in a decrease in sleep quantity and quality, and on the flip side, sleep deprivation can lower your pain threshold and pain tolerance and make existing pain feel worse”.

So what’s the answer – Spine Health say that “Psychological techniques. Meditation, cognitive behavior therapy, and deep breathing exercises are some of the more common practices. Sleep medications. Specifically designed to help with sleep, these medications may be considered by themselves or along with other strategies in certain circumstances”, may help with your sleep pattern.

Arthritis Health says that “Positive bedtime habits and environment changes include:

  • Using a high-quality mattress with comfortable sheets and blankets
  • Eliminating light and noise from the bedroom, including glare and sounds from electronics; a sound machine that generates white noise may help mask outside noises (people will often use a fan for this purpose)
  • Lowering the temperature in the bedroom to 68 degrees or lower
  • Using deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation techniques (tensing and then relaxing muscle groups in sequence)
  • Using a biofeedback device to help individuals recognize signs of tension and actively work to relax muscles, slow breathing, and calm down
  • Going to bed at the same time every day
  • Getting up and doing something calming if sleeplessness sets in, returning to bed only once feeling tired

If you have any unique suggestions on how to get back to sleep after being woken up with pain then please let us know so we can all try it.

Other factors of course are that sleep changes with Age. You can see from the graphic below how it changes a great deal as we age. I probably only get about 6 hours of sleep maximum.

Many Fibromyalgia sufferers have sleep problems even if they have a rest during the day. But having a few ‘good’ hours sleep can make all the difference. I’m sure I am not alone in also suffering most days with an overwhelming feeling of fatigue. I can honestly say that sometimes I have felt so tired, that I thought I would fall asleep standing up. But even an afternoon nap is not the same as having a ‘proper’ night’s sleep.

Healthline explains 11 effects of sleep deprivation on your body with this great graphic and just shows how it really can affect your way of life big time.

 

 

 

COPING DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH IT WHILE IN PAIN…

This week has been a week where I seem to have struggled with whatever I have done. We all have them and I’m hoping next week will be much better.

I feel guilty in that I think I have brought some of my pain on myself by doing more than I normally would do during the COVID-19 lockdown. But, I’m sure I’m not alone and a few of us have ‘had a go’ at something over the last eight weeks.

Mine was my little shed in the garden which I have sat and looked at for the last twelve months and decided a make over with lots of help from the other half could be manageable.

The end product is just what I wanted but being a bit of a perfectionist at heart has meant more work for me. The edges and finishing touches were done by me which ended up taking longer than painting the shed. It’s not that I was holding anything heavy but it’s the position you get into to achieve what you want. We adapted a stool for me for lower areas and a big cushion for anything lower down but it just took time.

I’ve rested up a few days but it seems to have really stirred up pins and needles and pain down my arm, in fact it’s affected my hand so badly that I’ve dropped a few things. Now I know I’ve not done any permanent harm but I have obviously provoked a reaction. Injuries happen, it’s a part of normal life.

Because I write my blog so regularly I somehow feel expectations are high and I feel almost guilty if I don’t write my regular post. There are moments in the lives of many people when they are not even sure what brought the pain into their life, only that it is agonizingly there.

Pharmi Web wrote that the University of East Anglia researchers are launching a new study to see how Covid-19 and lockdown are affecting people with bone, joint and muscle pain.

Their previous research has revealed the challenges and poor health outcomes caused by social isolation and loneliness for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. The study will be of great interest to us all.

The daily sun dose we are having is beautiful and I am sure the last eight weeks would have felt like eight months without it but I am definitely ready to see my family for real as soon as I can.

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT KRILL OIL…

Lots of people are now discovering that krill supplements can bring plenty of benefits. They are a great alternative to fish oil, and they can provide much more. If you want to know more about fish oil, you can click this link here.

Krill is a type of crustacean that is typically consumed by sea creatures such as penguins and whales. The overall structure is similar to that of a shrimp, and the name comes from a Norwegian word meaning “whale food.”

Most companies made the oil with the species called Euphausia superba, and some products indicate on their labels that the manufacturers used Antarctic krill. Either way, both of them can provide lots of health benefits, but the degree can vary.

How Does the Supplement Work?

The oil contains fatty acids like fish oil. The fats contained in each capsule can lower cholesterol levels, decrease swelling, and make the platelets stickier. When the platelets are sticky, this means that blood clots are less likely to form. 

Benefits of Krill

1. Fights Inflammation

Since the supplement is rich in Omega-3 and other fatty acids, it is shown to be beneficial with inflammation. You can find more info about Omega-3 here: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/40253. Studies have shown that oil is more effective in fighting inflammation compared to other marine sources.

Another benefit is that the supplements contain astaxanthin, which is a pink-orange pigment that provides antioxidant effects. There are even test-tube studies that the supplement can significantly reduce the production of harmful bacteria in the intestinal cells of humans.

A 1000-mg supplement a day is more than enough to prevent inflammation and help with high-fat levels in the body. This is more effective than taking a 2000-mg a day Omega-3 supplement. 

2. Improves Heart Health

Essential fatty acids, EPA, and DHA, are known to boost the circulatory system and improve heart health. Studies have found that krill can significantly lower blood lipid levels, fats, and triglycerides.

The studies compare the effects of purified omega-3 and krill. Only the latter was able to raise the excellent HDL or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the body even if the dosage was lower. On the other hand, purified Omega-3 was able to lower triglyceride levels more than krill effectively.

Another study found out that the supplement was able to raise insulin resistance scores and delay Type 2 diabetes for a lot of people.

Suggested Dosage and Possible Side Effects

When you take this supplement, you also increase your body’s DHA and EPA. You can purchase this in pharmacies, or online stores that market krill oil exclusively. The supplements are typically smaller compared to fish oil, but they are less prone to belching or leaving fishy smells. The only drawback to watch out for is that this is more expensive than purified Omega-3, so you need to look for legit ones.

Note that additional studies are needed to prove the effectivenessof this supplement to inflammation, cancer, PMS, and other medical conditions. But the upside is that since Omega-3 is absorbed in a higher rate when it comes to krill, just taking about two-thirds of it can be more than sufficient to provide what your body needs.

It is also a must that you consult your physician before consuming any supplements, especially if you are lactating or pregnant. There are also medications such as blood thinning ones that will not be compatible with the oil. The American Heart Association recommends that you should take about 1000 mg of the capsule to increase your EPA and DHA levels.

As with any other supplements, you may experience side effects depending on the medications that you are currently taking and your overall well-being. Some people reported having fishy breaths, upset stomachs, bloating, headache, belching, constipation, and diarrhea. If you experience any of this, you need to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

The Best Time to Take the Oil

The supplement has shown a lot of benefits, including increased alertness, mental clarity, more energy levels, and enhanced focus. Knowing these, it’s a great idea if you could start your morning with one pill a day. This will allow you to take advantage of the increase in energy, and you can do more throughout the day.

What to Look for When Buying

There are a lot of brands out there. However, you need to look for specific things to get an idea of what is right for you. Some of the factors to include the following:

The krill should be obtained from Antarctica. This is because the lower regions have lesser pollution and metals floating in their seas. Some of the toxins from the Arctic may contain lots of mercury and other toxins that can have adverse effects on your health.

You need to read the nutrition details carefully. Choose a product that has at least 250mg of DHA and EPA when combined.

Krill contains phospholipids, and they are good fats in the body. This is what makes them more expensive than fish oil. Without the phospholipids, there’s not much sense of buying a supplement, and you might waste your money in the process.

Sustainable Sourcing of Fishes

The supplements that you should buy should sustainably source its ingredients from the deep waters of the Antarctic. When the product is sustainably sourced, they contain no toxins and higher levels of Omega-3 and other fatty acids. If the packaging does not give you an idea of where the ingredients were sourced, this can put you at risk of consuming farmed fishes from factories that contain hazardous toxins. Scrutinize the products and labels to be on the safe side.

FEELING EXHAUSTED ALL THE TIME ? IS YOUR BRAIN TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING?…

Many people suffering from any form of chronic pain suffer from lack of energy which can be caused by the pain they are in and also certain medications, but is your brain trying to tell you something ?

Lack of energy is one of the main symptoms of depression and combined with other symptoms like feeling down or hopeless, little interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy, feeling worthless or guilt, disrupted sleep, changes in appetite, problems concentrating or suicidal thoughts. Any or all of these can be a real sign that you may be suffering from depression.

I decided to highlight this during Mental Health Month. Many people suffering from chronic pain can feel alone especially with the COVID-19 virus putting in lockdown. This can then put many of us at a greater risk of depression and so it is essential you get help when you need it.

It is important that you talk to you GP first who may initially offer antidepressants but there is access to CBT ( Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which is well known to help with depression.

Light therapy can help especially during winter months but at the moment we have enough light and sun to give us adequate amounts to lift our spirits. Unfortunately not everyone has access to the fresh air and sun due to difficulty getting outside because of our condition so help for them is very important.

There are other tips to help boost your energy levels which can have a positive effect on how you feel. The classic tips are to avoid junk food, curb your alcohol intake, exercise for energy, cut down on caffeine, check your Iron intake and Vitamin D levels.

You are certainly not on your own with this you only have to look online starting with the NHS Every Mind Matters, and Mental Health.Org,

The Houston Press say “Mental health experts are predicting a second pandemic of sorts, an epidemic born from coronavirus worries and lockdowns.”

Therapy For You wrote “May is National Walking Month, where you’re encouraged to leave the motor at home and stretch your legs exploring every space the UK has to offer. Even just a 20-minute walk around your area can do wonders for your mental wellbeing, from helping you get more sleep at night to encouraging helpful hormones that boost positivity.”

Mind have a great article on how CBT works. “ CBT is usually a short-term treatment, so you wouldn’t be expected to continue with the treatment for a long time. For example, a course of CBT might be delivered in 12 hour-long weekly sessions, spread across 12 weeks. In some areas, you may be offered four sessions initially, with the opportunity for more if you need them.“Some research suggests that computerised CBT could be helpful for some people, although it’s not yet known how well it works.”

Whatever is available you first need to speak to your GP about how you are feeling and he will point you in the right direction.